Peter and Paul stand like two great pillars in Christian history. Peter, the disciple to whom Jesus entrusted the care of the church, and Paul, the great evangelist who had the strength and vision to preach the Gospel to those far beyond the boundaries of Israel.

They are pillars, but pillars within the economy of God. If you simply had Peter and Paul in a room the conversation would have been loud and explosive. They would have disagreed on just about everything. The hot-headed fisherman arguing for a Jewish Christianity based on Jewish law, the cool-headed lawyer arguing that this story needed to go to all the world, Jew and Gentile alike.

If we ever worry about differences of opinion in the Church we only need to look at Peter and Paul to reassure ourselves that thus has it been, from the very beginning. Yet, between them, they hold out a story which had changed millions of lives.

The Church of God is made up of ordinary people and ordinary people disagree. Ordinary people argue and make mistakes. Peter and Paul are never represented to us as perfect or beyond reproach. Instead, they are people who look to Christ and listen to Him. Peter often makes impetuous mistakes and even Paul, who we tend to think of as very certain in his opinions, changes his tone and teaching as he settles into his ministry.

Both are changed by proximity to their Lord, not just once, but over and over as they are shaped and molded by lives lived in service. We have that same call. We will not always agree, we will not always know. We may look back and realize how we have changed. We are all on a journey, not to convict or condemn others or provide a perfect answer, but to travel together, holding differences in conversation and in a posture of listening to the God who loves us.